Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) Astrodynamics and Space missions

Department/faculty: Faculty Aerospace Engineering
Level: Doctorate
Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly
Contract: Temporary, 6 years
Salary: 3637 - 5656 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Aerospace Engineering

The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world's largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2700 BSc and MSc students, more than 225 PhD candidates and 27 full professors supported by scientific staf. The faculty’s mission is to be the best aerospace engineering faculty in the world that inspires students, staf and society with ambitious research and modern education of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated.

The mission of the Department of Space Engineering is to educate and research to advance the frontiers of space systems and missions, spaceflight and planetary science for the benefit of society. The department consists of two research groups: Astrodynamics and Space Missions, and Space Systems Engineering. It runs an integrated research programme comprising miniaturisation, distributed space systems, mission analysis and orbits, and planetary exploration. The department operates a cleanroom facility for the design, integration, and verification of assemblies up to entire satellites. It is an active member of the TU Delft Space Institute

The aim of Section Astrodynamics and Space Missions is to provide data, models, methods and tools to demonstrate and exploit the unique capabilities of spaceflight. The research covers a broad range of scientific and societal issues ranging from global change to participating in interplanetary missions searching for extraterrestrial habitats. It is the section's ambition to perform appealing and innovative scientific research within this range.The section has acquired a strong, internationally acknowledged reputation in this field of expertise. It is specialised in extremely precise orbit computations using advanced tracking systems, including mission analysis, force modelling and data analysis for scientific applications.

Job description

At the Section Astrodynamics and Space missions we are offering a tenure track position at the level of assistant professor specialising in astrodynamics. The Assistant Professor will be able to further develop existing research in the fields of trajectory design, optimization and/or determination. This can be, for example, GNSS-based precise orbit determination of Earth-bound satellites, DSN and VLBI based orbit determination of planetary missions, design and optimization of low-thrust trajectories for solar system missions, etc. In addition, the Assistant Professor will support the use, maintenance and development of our astrodynamics toolbox TuDat. As the section is involved in several current and future Earth observation and solar system missions (e.g. ESA's Swarm, CryoSat-2, JUICE, EU Copernicus Sentinels), this offers the opportunity to closely interact with colleagues within the section and a broad international network of institutes, universities, space agencies and industry. It also offers interesting opportunities for conducting research that has high societal relevance giving possibilities for funding. In addition to research, the position comprises an equal amount of education, including teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels and supervising MSc and PhD students. Rank and salary are commensurate with qualifications and professional experience.

A Tenure Track, a process leading up to a permanent appointment with the prospect of becoming an Associate or full Professor, offers young, talented academics a clear and attractive career path. During the Tenure Track, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop into an internationally acknowledged and recognised academic. We offer a structured career and personal development programme designed to offer individual academics as much support as possible. For more information about the Tenure Track and the personal development programme, please visit


The candidate must have:

  • a PhD degree in a relevant research area;

  • an excellent publication record that demonstrates research in the fields of trajectory design, optimization and/or determination;

  • the capability to deliver high-quality teaching at university level, preferably including demonstrated capability to define thesis topics and supervise MSc students;

  • the ability to initiate, propose and direct research projects demonstrated by obtained external funding (reflective of/appropriate to their career stage) and supervise students;

  • excellent (C++) programming skills and experience in developing astrodynamics software suites and toolboxes;

  • an international profile with an active international network of scientific contacts.  

  • excellent communication and soft skills;

  • are open minded and team players.

Conditions of employment

A tenure-track position is offered for six years. Based on performance indicators agreed upon at the start of the appointment, a decision will be made by the fifth year whether to offer you a permanent faculty position. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft sets specific standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. The TU Delft offers training to improve English competency. Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. If you have less than five years of experience and do not yet have your teaching certificate, we allow you up to three years to obtain this.    

Information and application

For information about this vacancy, you can contact P.N.A.M. Visser, Chair of Astrodynamics and Space Missions, email:, tel: +31 (0)15-2782595.


To apply, please e-mail a cover letter, a detailed CV with publication list, research statement, education statement, and two reference letters to

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Faculty Aerospace Engineering
Working hours
38.0 hours weekly
Temporary, 6 years
3637 - 5656 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date
Feb. 29, 2020
Vacancy nr.


For more information about the application procedure, please contact: